Do You Really Need B2B Email Validation?
Without a doubt, email is still king when it comes to B2B marketing. Recent statistics even reveal that about 87 percent of B2B marketers utilize email marketing to gather new leads. While in terms of ROI, about 31 percent of B2B marketers agree that email marketing has the biggest impact; or delivers – on average – $51 ROI for every $1 spent as per the Direct Marketing Association (DMA).
With these promising stats, it’s not surprising that many businesses are putting email marketing on top of their priority list this 2020. However, many businesses today focus so much on building a large number of subscribers, and not enough attention to having a quality list.
Though it’s natural to aim for better subscriber engagement, not paying sufficient regard to the quality of your email list can jeopardize your entire marketing campaign. Simply because: how can your intended recipients read your emails if they aren’t receiving it in the first place? Or how are they to open it or be interested if it’s not relevant to them?
If you haven’t noticed it yet, the average person stays in their job for only a few years. And changing jobs often means leaving your work email address behind in the end, making it an abandoned email account. Sending emails to incorrect, invalid, non-existent and abandoned email accounts (that may become spam traps), all affect your bounce rate, Sender Score, and ultimately your email deliverability.
This is why email validation, as well as consistent data hygiene, are key practices you should implement in your email marketing. It’s also important to note that B2B email validation is extra challenging compared to B2C. As the former email list’ rate of decay is higher compared to the latter with approximately 36% per year; not to mention, outsmarting the catch-all email servers (more on this later).
Email validation, therefore, is critical to the success of your B2B email campaigns and deliverability. Without it, all your B2B email marketing efforts will be wasted.
How does B2B email validation work?
While it’s given that both B2C and B2B email validation works almost the same way, the main difference would be about how B2B email servers are set up. Because these servers’ setup dramatically alters the results.
For instance, catch-all servers are commonly used by businesses as a security feature and to prevent frequent unsolicited emails. Catch-all is set up to receive all emails sent to a domain. This means, whether the user address is misspelled as long as the email domain is correct, the “catch-all” server will still be able to catch incoming emails.
And though catch-all servers are great for businesses, it’s not particularly helpful for B2B email marketing. This is because you run the risk of your email not being delivered to your intended recipient’ inbox and instead lands to the junk folder.
In this case, email validation will significantly help you identify such poor data on your email list. Email validation works well in ensuring both the local portion and the domain name of an email address are valid. It aims to improve your B2B email database’s accuracy and value by identifying the deliverability of an email address without sending an actual email.
How email validation exactly works usually involves four steps. The process starts by (1) catching and correcting poor email syntax and spelling, (2) identifies risky or malicious emails, (3) confirms the domain, (4) and then finally ping the mailbox.
Is B2B email validation effective?
Although email validation isn’t a cure-all, it can significantly help improve deliverability and solve several deliverability issues. Moreover, it mitigates your risk with spam traps and helps you avoid a high bounce rate-particularly hard bounces.
B2B email validation isn’t as straightforward as B2C validation, but it is a crucial and effective tool in B2B data cleanliness. The email verification results will show whether the address is deliverable or not. Nevertheless, for businesses using catch-all servers, it could be tricky, and the results will primarily be categorized as “catch-all” or “accept-all”. Consequently, when you know which domains are catch-all, you can then explore utilizing other email list hygiene mechanism to better clean your data.
Why do you need to use B2B email validation?
Making sure your Sender reputation in good standing is probably the biggest reason why you need to use B2B email validation. As pointed out earlier, spam traps, high bounce rate, spam complaints are all factors that negatively affect your sender score. Furthermore, neglecting email hygiene and skipping validation can also result in a variety of ill effects: from lost revenue, sales inefficiencies, increased marketing costs, to poor customer experience.
B2B email list validation is a promising solution to ensure data accuracy for both your new and long-established lists. It helps your business:
- save money and improve ROI
- helps you get better actionable data insights and segmentation
- helps enhance your sender reputation
- improves email deliverability
How to find out if you need B2B email validation?
It’s wise not to wait for all the bad signs to appear. Let me emphasize it again in case you still haven’t got the point: email validation is vital to your email marketing success. And if you’re getting results such as high bounce rate, low open rate, poor engagement, and click-through rate-then it’s high time to use an email validation service.
Now, let’s further discuss the following definite telltale signs that you need B2B email validation.
High bounce rate
A bounce happens when your emails are undeliverable or not delivered to your subscriber’s inbox. It can be likened to a snail mail’s “return to sender” occurrence. Bounces can be transient or permanent, irreparable or solvable. Moreover, email bounces are categorized as an either soft or hard bounce.
A high bounce rate usually indicates that you are sending emails to non-existent, invalid or abandoned email addresses. Bounces also occur when the recipient’s inbox is full, or the email server is unavailable. The bounce rate in email marketing ideally should be low and not high, with an average benchmark of less than 2% (although this slightly varies depending on your industry).
Low open rate
Naturally, you would want your email open rate to be high. Otherwise, what’s the use of your email campaigns if you’re not generating new business?
Email open rate is calculated by:
Unique open emails / (Total # of emails sent – Total # of bounced emails) = Email Open Rate
When you have a low email open rate, it means your email campaigns are not effectively reaching your target audience. There are several reasons why a low rate occurs so it’s important to conduct regular email hygiene and data validation.
Poor engagement and click-throughs
Find the benchmark email open rate and click-through rates in your industry, then compare your results. Low open rates as mentioned above is a big indicator that you aren’t effectively reaching your target audience. This also directly affects your click-through rate and thereby, resulting in poor engagement.
Additionally, the click-through rate is largely driven by relevance. And here, email validation can tremendously help. Aside from ensuring the deliverability of your emails, accurate segmentation also allows you to craft a more relevant content.
Mailing to an old list for the first time
Lastly, another indication that you need email validation is when you are planning to send a campaign to an old list for the first time. This is because chances are, your old B2B email database contains abandoned email addresses. Proper email list hygiene and validation are both essential to keep your list accurate and clean.
Top B2B email templates
There are numerous B2B email templates available online, however that doesn’t mean you should use them all. Keep only those that are relevant to your business and make sure to alter it and make it your own. Remember, while many of these popular templates are proven effective, many businesses are using it too.
The biggest mistake a B2B email marketer can commit is to copy everything you got for free. The best antidote is to find the top B2B email templates that have been proven successful and then constantly experiment and modify it. Start with these variables:
- email subject line
- content images
- sender names
- email body text
- email sending timing
Some of the top B2B email templates you should consider are:
1) Welcome email template. Thanking your new subscribers and welcoming them gives a positive first impression. Plus, it serves as a reminder of why they are getting your emails. When sending welcome emails, make sure to introduce yourself and your company, and provide helpful links.
2) Getting started email template. If you are offering a product or an online service, sending your subscribers this template helps continue the conversation. Don’t forget to add a call-to-action when sending it.
3) Free trial email template. Each time a new subscriber expresses interest to receive a free trial of your product or service, send this template. Add also supporting information and relevant links to keep them engaged.
4) “What’s New?” email template. To keep your subscribers engaged, don’t forget to send them new updates. For instance, if you have a new feature, then let them know by sending them an email at least a day before the rollout of the new feature.
5) Inactive user email template. Send this email template to your inactive users to restart the conversation and remind them of who you are and what your company does. It should also contain why they signed up before, and what you can do for them. Try to encourage them to ask you a question or provide contact details where they can reach you.
B2B email database matters
Your B2B email database matters as it’s one of your biggest marketing assets. So if you neglect taking care of this asset, by skipping email validation and other necessary data cleaning steps, you’ll end up losing your prospects and loyal clients.
Data-driven marketing like B2B email marketing requires maintenance. Email list validation is a critical step to undergo in all email marketing campaigns. Without it, you are just throwing your money and marketing efforts directly to the trash bin.
Based on recent statistics, B2B email marketing continues to dominate. Proper data maintenance is necessary to have a successful email marketing campaign. Therefore, B2B email validation is essential to keep your email list accurate and clean.